Though they’ve been linked in the past, at least speculatively, the Angels are evidently foregoing pursuit of top free agent starter Trevor Bauer. Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles organization just doesn’t see itself as a match.
The report doesn’t formally stamp out the possibility of a deal with Bauer, but it comes just shy of doing so. Torres pegs the odds of the sides lining up at “practically zero.”
This development makes for a bit of a surprise given the Halos’ need for a top starter and Bauer’s ties to Southern California. One might’ve expected some effort to land the high-grade hurler, at least to a certain point in the bidding.
Interestingly, it doesn’t appear to be a situation where the market has simply moved past the team’s valuation of the player. Money is a factor, to be sure. Torres indicates that the Halos’ budget likely doesn’t have anywhere near the space needed to fit Bauer — at least, barring the authorization of a pocketbook expansion by owner Arte Moreno.
Cash is generally king, but it may not be the dispositive factor here. Torres cites the presence of Mickey Callaway as a major roadblock. Callaway’s relationship with Bauer is, she writes, “believed to be eroded beyond repair” from the grating time the pair spent with the Indians organization.
If indeed Callaway and Bauer are oil and vinegar, the Angels may not be a fit at any (realistic) price. That could leave the Mets in the driver’s seat, though other clubs have been connected to Bauer and there’s still time for some dark horses to emerge.